Elmotawakel Dates Company is targetting to increase its sales during the current year to EGP 16m and expand into new markets, including Europe, Africa, and Asia in order to promote the exporting activity of the company.
Tarek El-Sayed, CEO of the company, said that the size of the company’s sales over the past year is estimated at EGP 10m, and the company is seeking to increase its sales to EGP 16m in 2017—a growth rate of not less than 60%.
El-Sayed said that his company plans to increase the size of exports by entering new markets in Africa, Asia, and Europe. The company began to export small quantities to Morocco a year ago.
He pointed out that the recent decisions taken by the government—including the flotation of the pound and the price hikes of fuel, electricity, and water—have negatively impacted the food industry sector in general, where prices have increased by at least 25%.
He explained that the company would take several steps this year to avoid the negative effects of the government decisions and take advantage of its positive effects, as it seeks to increase production and increase its export activity.
He added that the company is intending to develop its factory in terms of machinery and equipment, quality management, staff in all fields, and participation in international exhibitions for food.
Ahmed Shafik, sales and marketing director at the company, said that the production costs have seen different increases over the past year. Therefore the company increased the prices of their products by 25%, due to the production costs increasing by 25% to 50%—depending on the raw materials, which vary between imported and domestic.
He explained that the major challenges faced by the companies operating in the food industry field is the price volatility on a daily basis, whether the price of the basic dates products or the manufacturing and packaging materials, which include packaging cartons and rolls.
He pointed out that the ineligible factories produce low-priced inferior products to compete with high-quality products companies, and they are not paying for services such as electricity and water, which are essential to the operation of machines used in washing and packing dates products.
He added that the process of date manufacturing and packaging goes through stages of sorting, washing, evaporation, drying, packaging, and storing.
He noted that the export of dates was excluded from the company’s plan, as dates are considered one of the organic products which are not suitable for long storage periods.
He explained that the company began to export after importing machines specialised in the processes of washing, drying, and packaging dates, which help in the ability to store them in good conditions until export. The company exported a few containers to Morocco and some African countries over the past year.